obit: abrupt but not unpredictable

I haven’t heard back from the prospective buyer yet. Which makes me think my business whiz hasn’t sent him the model yet. Which is bad.

At the bottom of their deepest hearts of hearts, at the level of instinct, people seem to carry a sticky expectation of spontaneous combustion, mothers who pluck cars off of their threatened children, visits from celestial beings, shapechangers, and animals who speak human languages. It’s in the blood, these vagaries of of human history, and while they are alarming, they feel appropriate. (Possibly not the bit with the car, but metaphorically I’m fairly certain I’m still on solid ground.) Death, however, we don’t seem to properly fathom death. It shocks us into denial, into a rejection of facts, on a level that is almost the antithesis of every day miracles. Nobody apparently expects death, even when seen approaching from far away. There just doesn’t seem to be a framework in place, so instead we gather in loose groups, wear culture appropriate colours that feel outdated and fail utterly to write the music we need to capture our fallen friends.

Part of me wishes to hide inside gaudy and glaring jokes about how T. Paul still owes me money or that now we’ll never move in together because I could never introduce my mother to a dead man, but they’re all the same – dishonest escapes shutting away what I will only have to deal with later. Really I already miss him in ways that will never noted in any obituary. Yes, people will benevolently talk about how wrenchingly he’s influenced Vancouver with his events, MC’ing, poetry and black-coffee solicitousness, his shining rhinestone humour, his unexpected grace with children, and the fun trapped in his Tom Waits paintings or even his retro trademark hair, (mentioned in the first piece of my writing ever properly published), but his cologne will go unacknowledged, the way it would scoff at showers, insisting on clinging for days, after even the briefest hug. It used to drive me crazy later, how I would turn and expect to see him, only to discover he was merely a rockabilly ghost fighting to haunt my clothing.

I caught myself wishing today that there was some way to publicily wear what I’m carrying in my heart, that we had an updated version of shaving off eyebrows, just to make this day different. Some way to mark the change in my life. My friend is dead, I want there to be a ripple, an outward effect that is more than his invisible absence. Otherwise it will only be like he has moved away, taken up residence in some other city, and that isn’t fair at all. He was a rarity, a revelation of whack-job positive influence, more Vegas than Vegas, baby. He deserves to be missed.

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